College of Arts and Sciences

Alumnus and former College of Arts and Sciences advancement board members passes away

March 11, 2009


ANNADALE, Va. — Rear Admiral Richard D. Friichtenicht, USN (Ret.), Annandale, Va., passed away peacefully on March 4, 2009. He was preceded in death in November 2007 by his wife of 51 years, Dixie Lee. He is survived by his two daughters, Kristin Allshouse, of Annandale, and Karey Handrahan, of Fairfax; five grandchildren, Ryan, Joshua, Jennifer, Stephanie and Racha; and his brother. Ron Friichtenicht, of Rock Island, Illinois.

He was born in Matherville, Illinois, on December 1, 1932, and attended Western Illinois University. He graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He spent one year teaching junior high school in Aledo, Illinois, before entering the Navy’s Officer Candidate Program in May 1955. RADM Friichtenicht earned his wings of Gold, being designated a Naval Aviator in February 1957. He was a designated Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer and Material Acquisition Professional. He had a Master’s Degree in Electronics Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and an additional Masters in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He had operational flying tours in electronic intelligence collection, photographic reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare. He had over 5000 pilot hours flying A-7, A-3, P-2, and other fixed wing aircraft. He was Commanding Officer at Naval Air Engineering Center, Lakehurst, New Jersey, from 1978 to 1981. From 1984 to 1989, he was the Deputy Commander for Programs at NAVAIR. He also carried the titles of Acquisition Executive and Deputy for Operations. At the time of his retirement in 1990, he was Vice Commander of Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters in Washington, D.C. His military awards included the Legion of Merit with gold star, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. After his retirement, he was an Adjunct Consultant with the Operational Evaluation Division of the Institute of Defense Analysis. In addition he was an associate with Slay Enterprises, Incorporated and Burdeshaw Associates Limited. He also performed consulting services for Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Northrup-Grumman.

RADM Friichtenicht was a member of the Sigma Xi Honorary Science Fraternity and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He and Dixie had a beach house in Emerald Isle, N.C., where they shared many wonderful years. He was also a longtime member of the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va. He and Dixie loved to travel and enjoyed visiting many different countries. He had a great love of Jack Russell terriers.

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with a service to be held on Monday, July 6, 2009, at 11 a.m. at the Ft. Myer Post Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to either Inova Fairfax Hospital or the American Lung Association.